CultureExample-1A clearly defined, communicated and continually reinforced company culture improves productivity, promotes ethical behavior, and contributes to business success. Employees are more likely to be engaged and loyal when they work in an environment of strong ethics, mutual respect, and trust.

I experienced this firsthand at Johnson & Johnson, with the Johnson & Johnson Credo. The Credo is a set of guiding principles that provides a framework for employee behavior. When employees understand the corporate values and expected behaviors, they are empowered to do the right thing. If someone deviates from expected behaviors, the Credo can be used as a coaching tool to help that individual learn what is expected and why.

The Credo states Johnson & Johnson’s responsibility to their customers, their employees, their communities and their stockholders.  It was crafted by a member of the founding family nearly 75 years ago, which was, as stated on their website, “long before anyone ever heard the term ‘corporate social responsibility.’ Our Credo is more than just a moral compass. We believe it’s a recipe for business success. The fact that Johnson & Johnson is one of only a handful of companies that have flourished through more than a century of change is proof of that.”

The Johnson & Johnson Credo is infused in every aspect of J&J life. Every new hire is given the history of the Credo and its importance to the company.  It’s in the company’s reward systems.  When the company I was working for was bought by J&J, we went through a 2-day mandatory Johnson & Johnson training to understand the values.  When tough decisions were made, the VP of HR would take out a copy of the Credo to serve as a compass to make the right decision for all the parties involved.

The Johnson & Johnson example shows that it’s not enough just to establish “a great culture.” You have to ensure that the culture becomes a part of the hearts and minds of all employees – from executives to new hires.

If you need help establishing, communicating or reinforcing your company culture, please contact me.